Gay former cycling champion Graeme Obree and gay Scottish Episcopal Rev Kelvin Holdsworth both lost out in the contest to become the new rector of Glasgow University.

Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has been elected to the post instead, succeeding former Liberal Democrat Charles Kennedy.

Mr Snowden beat three other candidates to the post – Graeme Obree, author Alan Bissett and Scottish Episcopal, the Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth.

In April last year, Rev Holdsworth criticised former archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey for attacking equal marriage.

Obree is a former student at the university who dropped out four months into a design engineering degree.

The 48-year-old came out publicly as gay in January 2011 in a newspaper interview.

Known as the Flying Scotsman, he twice won the world individual pursuit title and also twice broke the world hour record.

He told the Scottish Sun that he previously tried to kill himself twice as he struggled to accept his sexual orientation.

In August 2011, Obree said that it would be “too awkward” to be an active sportsman and openly gay.